Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sport Shorts

What's next diaper bags in deer blinds? Read this story in "Hook and Bullet" in the Houston Chronicle.
  • Hook and Bullet

  • The Z Report from the Houston Chronicle predicts who the Houston Texans may take in Rounds 1-6 in the NFL draft. A lot of Big 12 players are mentioned but no Nebraska players.
  • Houston Chronicle

  • Al Saunders is back with the St. Louis Rams as Offensive Coordinator.
  • USA Today

  • The Big Red Report gives the State of the Union for the Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas football teams.
  • Big Red Report

  • The Kansas City Royals have their first three starters set for their pitching rotation. But who will be the fourth and fifth starters; the young kids or the old geasers.
  • Kansas City Royals
  • Sunday, January 27, 2008

    Nebraska adds three more football recruits!

    Nebraska now has 21 recruits in the 2008 class. Today we added two receivers and one defensive back. Unless there are some position changes this will be our first two receivers in this class. With the west coast offense, having two-three receivers was a necessity. We also needed to add a defensive back so it was a very good day for Nebraska football.
  • Husker Extra

  • Ava Fiore, Playboy model and boxing champ, arrested in Nebraska on I-80 for drugs.

  • Can Michael Beasley and K-State beat Kansas this week. Jason Whitlock thinks so.
  • Kansas City Journal Star
  • Saturday, January 26, 2008

    The Sunday Telegraph in Australia reports a possible coverup in Heath Ledger's death!

    The Sunday Telegraph in Australia reports that Mary-Kate Olsen's bodyguards went to Heath Ledger's apartment three minutes before the emergency unit arrived. Did they clean the area of some illegal drugs? Read.......
  • Sunday Telegraph

  • The Lawrence Journal-World discusses how Aleks Maric wants to play in the Olympics for Australia. Read on.......
  • Lawrence Journal-World
  • Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Big Week for Nebraska recruiting!!

    Nebraska's recruiting weekend is huge. Nebraska has some holes yet to fill. Wide Receiver is a position that we still need two to three recruits. Linebacker, defensive end, and the defensive line are still areas of continued need. Nebraska is hitting Texas hard and the coaches are going after athletes. Husker Extra has a list of the players visiting this week.
  • Husker Extra

  • Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Journal says the Patriots are beatable.
  • Jason Whitlock

  • Bowhunter magazine is one of my favorite magazines. Read some stories and look at their website.
  • Bowhunter

  • In-Fisherman is a great place to read to improve your fishing techniques and read stories about fishing.
  • In-fisherman

  • The Oklahoma Sooners have two five-star recruits and one four-star recruit coming in from Alabama this week to visit.
  • NewsOK

  • Terrance Harris of the Houston Chronicle discusses how Mark Turgeon is in a tough situation following Billy Gillespie. Read more....
  • Terrance Harris/Houston Chronicle
  • Monday, January 21, 2008

    Three-star recruits are ok!

    In checking out our recruits from 2002 to 2005, this writer found an abundance of great three-star athletes for the Nebraska football team. They include:
    1. Nathan Swift
    2. Terrance Nunn
    3. Brandon Jackson
    4. Andy Christensen
    5. Lance Bradenburgh
    6. Adam Carriker
    7. Brett Byford
    8. Corey McKeon
    9. Cody Glenn

    We also found a few four-star recruits who didn't have the career a four-star athlete should have:
    1. Curt Dukes
    2. Mark Leflore
    3. Harrison Beck
    4. Chris Brooks
    5. Frantz Hardy
    6. Leon Jackson
    7. Josh Mueller

    Hardy, Mueller, and Leflore played well at NU but not to the level they were projected out of high school by the raters.

    Our current recruiting class is adding a few three-star athletes to it, but possibly we will find some of them will have the careers that Brandon Jackson or Adam Carriker had. They are both in the NFL right now.

  • Birmingham News
  • Sunday, January 20, 2008

    Will both Whaleys come to Nebraska?

    Alonzo Whaley has gave his verbal commitment to Nebraska to play linebacker. He becomes the the 19th commitment for Nebraska. Getting a linebacker recruit was huge as the need is high. Alonzo's brother, Chris, is a highly touted 2009 prospect at running back. Rivals rates him the 67th best player in the nation. Let's hope he joins his brother at Nebraska. They attend a high school in Texas. Nebraska continues to hit Texas hard in recruiting. It is paying dividends!!

    This writer has been criticized for not being diverse in his writings so let's talk duck hunting. This is a true story that happened east of Orleans while one of the locals was hunting ducks. The story goes........

    A man wakes up at the crack of dawn to go duck hunting.
    He gets to his blind just before sunrise and settles in. Over the trees comes a perfect wedge.
    He takes out the lead duck and watches as it falls from the sky, bouncing off of a barn,
    hitting the fence and landing in the yard of the near bye farm.
    The hunter sees no activity at the farm house and decides
    no one will even notice if he quickly retrieves his trophy.
    Just as he lays his hand on the duck he hears a shotgun rack a round in the chamber.
    He looks up to hear the farmer ask "what ye' doin' boa' ?"
    Hunter "gettin ma duck thar."
    farmer "reckon thats my duck nao boa, hit mah bern, mah fen' dat ders' mah duck."
    The hunter of course not one to quit attempts to argue. This gets him nowhere.
    Farmer " I reckon they ain't but one way ta' settle dis un' , da country way boa'.
    I kick you in da groin, you kick me in da groin n' whoeva lef stannin keepin' da duck."
    The hunter has no choice and agrees.
    Farmer "Ima goin first."
    The farmer leaps off the porch at a dead sprint and kicks the
    hunter with all he's worth right in the jewels.
    The hunter spasms to the ground gasping for air,
    it takes him 30 + minutes to regain composure and attempt to stand.
    Hobbling the hunter says " guessin is' mah turn"
    Farmer " Ah you keep dat ol' duck boa."

    2008 Nascar preview

    The 2008 season is just about ready to begin. The Winston Cup; sorry, I meant Nextel Cup; whoops,the now named Sprint Cup Race is just about ready to begin. What more fun could you have during this year's Nascar season than to join a fantasy league. If you are interested, e-mail me at and we can forward you the rules. We are in Yahoo Sports and you have to join Fantasy Auto Racing. After you get your team info completed, it will ask you join a group. To join our group, the ID# is 6979 and the password is racing. Please e-mail me prior to joining if you want to know the rules.

    Now what has changed for this year's season? Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s switch from DEI to Hendricks Motorsports is the story for 2008. Earnhardt has enhanced his chances to win "The Cup". Hendrick's Motorsports dominated in 2007! Jr. won six times in 2004 but has only won twice since then. Jr. had no wins in 2007. So this year we try to figure out if Jr. is overrated as a driver or was not supported with the right equipment. He has the best this year! Tony Eury Jr. will be his crew chief. They have had good chemistry in the past. Look to Jr. to be at or near the top of the Sprint Cup race in 2008. Jr. will be driving the 88 in 2008.

    When Jr. moved to Hendricks, then Kyle Busch had to move. He moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing and he should be just as good this year as last. Joe Gibbs Racing did very well in 2007 also. His sponsor this year is M & M 's. Joe Gibbs Racing is switching to Toyotas in 2008. Kyle Busch's challenge will be getting enough attention away from Stewart and Hamlin, who are also members of Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle Busch will drive the 18 car in 2008.

    Casey Mears stays with Hendricks but he is switching from the 25 car to the 5 car. This is an upgrade for him. He will have Kyle Busch's old crew chief in Alan Gustafson. This team has won four times in three years. Casey Mears will be driving the 5 car in 2008.

    With Kyle Busch moving to Joe Gibbs Racing, J.J. Yeley was the odd man out. He joined Hall of Fame Racing which is under the Joe Gibbs Racing umbrella. Hall of Fame Racing also have switched to Toyotas in 2008. J.J. Yeley will drive the 96 car in 2008.

    Jeremy Mayfield has switched from Bill Davis Racing to Haas CNC Racing which many feel will help him get back to the circuit full time again. Mayfield replaces Johnny Sauter in the 70 car this year.

    Scott Riggs will also join the Haas CNC Racing team. He was with Gillett Everham Motorsports last year. Riggs replaces Jeff Green with this team. He will be driving the 66 car in 2008.

    David Reutimann has switched from the 00 car to the 44 car with Michael Waltrip Racing. Reutimann will begin the year in the 00 car but will replace Dale Jarrett after five races. Reutimann drives to 44 car after the fifth race in 2008.

    The new rookies in the Nascar Spring Cup in 2008 looks like a move from the best of the Indy Car series. Who are the best newcomers in 2008.

    We'll start with Regan Smith who drives for DEI in 2008. DEI doesn't have a history of their first year drivers having much success. Paul Menard drove for them last year. Regan Smith mentored with Mark Martin and this is why he is the top rookie we see coming in. Smith is this writer's pick as Rookie Driver of the Year due to experience and the team he will run with. Smith doesn't have a sponsor yet so that could be a hindrance. Smith drives the 01 car in 2008.

    Dario Franchitti joins the Chip Gannassi Racing team this year. He comes as the 2007 Indy Racing champion. His wife is Ashley Judd. Which 2008 race will YOU attend so you can see Ashley Judd? Franchitti will join Montoya on the Gannassi team. Really no experience in stock cars. Franchitti will drive the 40 car in 2008.

    Sam Hornish Jr. joins Penske Racing South. He is in the field for the first five races and is sponsored all season by Mobil 1. He will have a large learning curve this season. Another Indy racer to Nascar. He will drive the 77 car in 2008.

    Jacques Villeneuve has joined the Bill Davis Racing team. Another Indy racer. He will have a difficult time qualifying this year and will miss some races. He may be the best driver of all the rookies. He did race at Talledega last year and finished 21st but in his race at Phoenix, he finished 41st. He will drive the 27 car this year.

    The final rookie to be mentioned is Patrick Carpentier who has joined the Gillett Evernham Racing team. His specialty is the road races. He led several laps at Watkins Glen last year. He will be a teammate of Kayne and Sadler. He will have a difficult time qualifying for races. He will drive the 10 car which was driven by Scott Riggs last year.

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    2008 Nebraska Football Schedule may toughest in nation!!

    College Football News has released the 2008 preseason rankings. Nebraska will have a very difficult schedule playing five of the toughest 17 ranked teams in the nation. In fact, there isn't going to be an easy game with the exception of New Mexico St. ranked 108th.

    Ohio State and Georgia top the rankings as one and two. Nebraska is rated 48th.

    Here are Nebraska's schedule followed by their preseason ranking:

    Western Michigan (85) HOME
    San Jose St. (82) HOME
    New Mexico St. (108) HOME
    Virginia Tech (17) HOME
    Missouri (8) HOME
    Texas Tech (10) AWAY
    Iowa St. (63) AWAY
    Baylor (95) HOME
    Oklahoma (3) AWAY
    Kansas (13) HOME
    Kansas State (57) AWAY
    Colorado (41) HOME

    The good news is Nebraska has eight home games. The improving Iowa St. team will be no gimme. Kansas St will be tough away. Texas Tech and Oklahoma are rated in the Top 10 and we play them in their venues. Baylor has nine offensive players back and six defensive players.

    Other interesting rankings are Arizona (51), Indiana (52), Mayland (53), Washington St. (54), Purdue (56), Louisville (59), and North Carolina (60). Kansas St. and Iowa St. are rated with this group. The line at Iowa St. may be even today. Kansas State could be even also looking at the present rankings and the fact that we play them in Manhattan.

    2008 will be a very competitive year with Nebraska's season record depending on how well we play the close games. Looks like we will have a bunch of them next season.
  • College Football News

  • Kansas defensive coordinator Bill Young is leaving and has taken the same position with the University of Miami.

    Jets hire Callahan!

    Bill Callahan will be coaching the offensive line and will help improve the running game for the New York Jets next year. Read more.....

  • journal star
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    The fullback position will be productive in 2008!

    On offense needs to use all its weapons. Our fullback has not been used except for blocking and a rare catch of the football. In 2008, look for a change. The fullback will be a factor in the game plan. Look to Quentin Castille and possibly Cody Glenn to switch to a role of fullback or split back. It wouldn't be a demotion for either but a chance to use their talents. If you switch talent like that you USE them in your game plan. It would be beneficial to have sets where Castille, Lucky, and Glen are all in the backfield at once. Or maybe Helu, Lucky, and Castille? What do you think?

    What's the latest on Oklahoma recruiting? Reggie Smith is headed to the NFL. He was almost a Cornhusker!
  • Newsok

  • Mike Sweeney's $11 million salary is gone. The Royals plan to use it in arbitration to keep some existing players. Who will get this money? Read on.....
  • Fox Sports
  • Monday, January 14, 2008

    Nebraska recruiting has big day!

    Nebraska got a solid verbal and a recommit today. Doesn't sound like much but it is huge.

    If Collins Okafor would have decided to go with Stanford, it would have been a big psychological disadvantage for Nebraska. Instead NU got a solid verbal from its only running back recruit so far this year. The need at running back is very high and Collins Okafor is a very solid back that will contribute at Nebraska. Okafor is a big fan of Marlon Lucky and the fact that Lucky is staying at Nebraska for his senior season could have been a big factor in keeping Okafor. Okafor spent a lot of time with Lucky on his visit.

    Then we have Josh Williams who is a very talented defensive end from Texas. He had committed but then changed his mind when the coaching change took place. He committed to Colorado. After a surprise visit to Nebraska Saturday, he has decided to be a Cornhusker. This will be a psychological lift to the rest of our recruiting season. Josh has now joined a team that will show it has the best defensive coaches in the nation. Defensive end was another high need for recruiting.

    James Dobson has been hired as the new strength coach for Nebraska. He was the assistant strength coach for Iowa.

    Pelini is putting together a staff that has tremendous upside potential to be stars some day. Examples of those that fit this mold are Ekeler, Papuchis, and Beck. Tom Osborne now has hired Dobson as strength coach. None of them are household names but they are up and coming stars. Pelini is taking men who have enthusiasm for the game. They want to get better. It is exciting to see this approach versus taking a group of coaches that may not have this same passion for the game. Pelini has said many times "We have a lot of work to do." He now has the staff to get it done. There is no doubt they will work hard.

    Nebraska has 18 recruits now. With the excitement today, look for this number to grow in the next two or three weeks to about 24. We will probably pick up two or three players after the signing period. Now if we can get Will Compton to make a solid commitment..................

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Nebraska Saturday

    Josh Williams was with the coaches and recruits yesterday at the KU basketball game. He was committed to Nebraska but switched to Colorado. Is he going to change back to Nebraska? Let's hope so. He is a defensive end out of Texas. When you visit at this at this time of his process, he is making sure he made the right decision to go to Colorado. So that would mean he isn't 100% Colorado. He fills a strong need on the team and would be joining the best defensive coach in college football.

    No word on Will Compton yet but keeping him at Nebraska is huge.

    The men's basketball team is much improved from a year ago but are still no where close to Kansas. Of course, this writer feels KU will win it all. NU needs shooters. Besides Paul Velander and Ryan Anderson, NU doesn't have much for pure shooters. NU puts forth tremendous defensive effort which makes any fan happy. Cookie Miller is going to be good. He is quick and plays great defense.

    The women have a very good team with a lot of depth. They will go to the NCAA tournament.

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Recruiting Update

    Don't worry about the 2008 recruiting class. With the addition of Tim Beck and Mike Ekeler, we have two of the top recruiters in the nation. Wait and see!! In addition, the balance of the staff are very good recruiters. We will miss Bill Busch on the recruiting front.

    Let's look at the first recruiting class under Bill Callahan.

    Jordon Adams, QB Remember the hype he received
    Adam Blankenship, DE
    Lance Brandenburgh, LB
    Andy Christensen, OL
    Beau Davis, QB
    Fredrick Franklin, RB Was not signed on LOI day
    Joe Ganz, QB 2008 starting QB
    Courtney Grixby, DB Recommitted to Nebraska
    Mike Huff, OL
    Brandon Jackson, RB
    Michael Keenan, LB
    John Lockett, WR
    Maurice McClellan, Ath
    Marque McCray, WR
    Shamus McCoy, WR Changed commitment to Connecticut
    D.T. McDowell, QB Decommitted 1/28/04
    Lydon Murtha, OL
    Danny Muy, OL
    Terrance Nunn, WR Recommitted to Nebraska
    Larry Owens, WR
    Santino Panico, Ath He was our punt returner
    Clayton Sievers, TE
    Byron Smith, DL
    Ty Steinkuhler, RE
    Nathan Swift, WR
    Cornelius Thomas, OL

    You would have to rate this class average at best. Brandon Jackson is in the NFL. He was a Rivals Top 150 player. Michael Keenan was a Solich recruit and was rated the Top LB in the Kan-Mo region. He left the team. Lydon Murtha was ranked the #11 OL prospect in the country. Danny Muy, a Solich recruit, was rated the 9th best center in the country. He left the team. Terrance Nunn was a Solich recruit. He de-committed and then Callahan's staff got him back. Same story for Grixby. Grixby was rated the #4 CB in the country. Seth Olson, a Solich recruit, de-committed and transferred to Iowa where he starred in the line.

    The 2008 recruiting class will be talented and will fill some needs for future years. We should have more impact players in 2008 than we had in 2004.

    This writer feels that Colorado is making great strides to upgrade its program under Dan Hawkins. They are rated #19 in the country in recruiting this year and have filled a lot of the team's needs. They will be at or near the top of the Big 12 North in two years, like it or not. Colorado and Missouri will be our main challenges to win the North division.

    The last time the NU basketball team beat KU was in '03. At that game Bill Callahan was introduced as NU's new football coach. This week Bo Pelini will be introduced as our new coach. That would only mean we win again. Probably not, because Kansas has the best team in college basketball. Should be a great game though!!

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008

    Nebraska Sports in review!

    You know, Joe Ganz has been placed as the starting QB next year already. This writer agrees. However if you look at a lot of the great teams, they have played two quarterbacks. Nebraska had Tagge/Brownson and Frazier/Berringer. Florida used two quarterbacks the past two years. It adds a dimension to their offense. It gives defenses more to prepare for.

    Would it be that odd to have the mobile Ganz with one game plan and then bring in Patrick Witt or Zach Lee for two or three series during the game with a different game plan? Mobility first and then come in with the "arms". More preparation for the defense and at the same time give the 2nd and 3rd team QB's experience. Lots of positives can happen when you have three good quarterbacks. May help with recruiting also.

    KOZN, in Omaha, reported today that Buddy Wyatt will be an assistant coach for Texas A & M. Dennis Wagner, our former line coach, has been hired as the new head coach at West Carolina. Wagner has hired his defensive coordinator from Grand Valley State. Grand Valley State has been a power in NCAA Division II.

    Doc Sadler said today the Oregon doesn't have a player that would be in the top seven for Kansas. Kansas will win the National Championship this year!! See them play this Saturday.

    Rachel Holloway is leaving the Nebraska volleyball team. Sad.

    Our new running backs coach, Tim Beck, is known as a top recruiter in the Dallas Metroplex. Exciting!

    Gil Brandt said on KOZN today that there are so many running backs in the 2008 NFL draft that he doesn't know who is going to take them all. Brandt said there has only been 30 running backs drafted in the first round in the past ten years. That's three first rounders a year. Marlon Lucky needs to play another year at NU.

    Brandt also commented that he still feels Bill Callahan is a great coach and will succeed wherever he goes.

    Nebraska lost one offensive lineman today and gained one back. In David Grant and out Dan Hoch.

    This writer thinks that Baker Steinkhler will play some defensive line this year. It could be the Ty, Baker and Suh show. say that ten times fast.

    With the new football coaching staff, NU will be looking to the Dallas, Texas area, Ohio, Louisiana, and Nebraska more for recruits.

    Do you wonder who at Fox Sports likes bands so much?

    Watch Danny Woodhead in the Hula Bowl!!! He will probably be at the combines in Indy also.

    An Oklahoma Player is in trouble.
  • NewsOK

  • Read more about running backs coach, Tim Beck.
  • Big Red Network

  • Friday, January 04, 2008

    Review of Our Recruiting Class!!

    On December 8th, we took a look at the recruiting class and the needs we had yet to fill. We did this by looking a year down the road. Many things have changed since that date so it is time to revisit and reevaluate the class.

    In 2008 we will have seven defensive and seven offensive players back. However for the purposes of analyzing the 2008 recruits, we have actually moved forward to the 2009 season.

    Here was our assumptions at that time. Joe Ganz, Marlon Lucky, Nate Swift, Zach Potter, Barry Turner and the many others are graduated. These are the guys that generally you want this year's recruits to replace and or move up the depth charts. Who is left and are we bringing in the right players. Of course with this analysis, we have to make some assumptions. We have also made some guesses as to what positions the new recruits will play. On December 8th, our recruits consisted of 14 defensive players and 10 offensive players. Today, we are down to eight defensive players and eight offensive players.

    Surprising, considering we just hired a defensive-minded coach. If you are a great defensive player you couldn't find a better place to play than Nebraska as we watch the "Mastermind" Bo Pelini do his work. The biggest loss was the defensive end position where we lost five of out six recruits since 12/8/08.

    Let's start with the offense for the 2009 season.

    1) Patrick Witt
    2) Zac Lee

    Kody Spano

    Picking up Kody Spano is huge for the Huskers. He has passed for 4000 yards, rushed for 900 yards, and has been involved with 75 TD's the past two seasons. He was originally a commit to Oklahoma State. He is 6'2"202 lbs and runs the 40 in 4.7. He has good feet and with two years of development, he could be our QB.

    Next week, we have Sean Renfree visiting. He was committed to Georgia Tech and has changed his mind. He is an Elite 11 QB and is rated 10th nationally.

    Both of these QB's would be assets to NU. Our original recruit, Blaine Gabbert, had a dismal season last fall. Some of this was caused by issues outside his control but Spano or Renfree may be better fits for NU.

    Kody Spano will play at Nebraska in two to three years.

    Need 6 (A high number reflects the need to recruit this position yet this year.)

    Running Back
    1) Quentin Castille
    2) Roy Helu

    Collins Okafor

    Only one running back has verbally committed. We have good talent at this position but it is a position where you could lose two or three to injuries. Nebraska needs to recruit another running back. Okafor doesn't seem to be 100% certain he is coming to NU. His visit next week may solidify his commitment. We still need one more RB beside Okafor. This could be LaMichael James from Texas.
    Need 8

    1) Justin Mackovicka


    We have three other walk-on FB's that will be on the team. The fullback needs to touch the ball by running or receiving 5-8 times each game. We have 11 men on the field and we need to utilize all of them. Remember the time Steve Kriewald ran the ball in 2004? He went 55 yards on one play against Oklahoma. He ran three times that year for 54 yards. An 18 yard average. Dane Todd ran one time in 2006 and that is four attempts for 54 yards the past four years. Nothing has changed since 12/8 except Greg Nwoko from Texas is on our radar.
    Need 8

    H-Back/Tight End

    1) Mike McNiel
    2) Dreu Young

    Ben Cotton
    Tyson Hetlzer
    Kyler Reed

    The addition of Cotton boost this position. McNiel and Young should develop well. We need to keep Hetzler and Reed as recruits. The tight end picture is the same.
    Need 4

    Wide Receiver (X)

    1) Menelik Holt
    2) Will Henry

    Wide Receiver (Y)
    1) Niles Paul
    2) Curenski Gilleylen


    No longer committed
    Norian Hilburn

    We need to add two quality receivers. We have none right now. In two years, our depth will be surprising thin. In two weeks, we have two WR's visiting NU. The first one is Adrian Bushell. He may be a long shot, but he is a good one. Runs a 4.4 40. He rates NU as low interest but he is visiting so the interest level may be much higher. He has a lot of interest in Oklahoma State and also shows interest in Florida and Louisville.

    That same week, LaRon Byrd visits. He is 6'3"210 lbs and has run a 4.49 40. He has some good interest in NU.

    Two JUCO players out of California are Jeremy Lafrance and Tobias Shanks. Lafrance may be a good possibility but Shanks likes NU but no offer has been made to him at this time.

    Matt Donahue, who will transfer from Ohio and walk on at NU, is a good. He will redshirt next year and then he should see some playing time.

    Nebraska needs two recruits at this position.
    Need 8

    Left Tackle
    1) Mike Smith

    Left Guard
    1) Keith Williams

    1) Jacob Hickman

    Right Guard
    1) DJ Jones

    Right Tackle
    1) Jaivorio Burkes

    Rick Henry
    Dan Hoch
    Baker Steinkuhler
    Brandon Thompson

    No longer committed
    Bryce Givens

    We have some good talent in the line in two years. We also have a good recruiting class in this area. Let's hope we keep them. The loss of Bryce Givens to Colorado is a downer. He was one of our top three recruits with tremendous talent. The good news is that we have four commits. Will Baker Steinkuhler get switched to the defensive line?

    Dan Hoch is visiting NU next week. He is a player that we need to keep.

    Need 5.

    So on offensive, the recruiting needs are quarterback, wide receiver, and possibly fullback. Wide receiver is a major concern at this point.

    DEFENSE in 2009

    Left defensive End

    Right Defensive end
    1) Pierre Allen

    Cameron Meredith

    No longer committed
    Eric Harper
    Simi Kuli
    Riley Reiff
    Doug Rippy
    Josh Williams

    Five recruits have non-committed in the past month that played for defensive end. Defensive is the key position on defense. John Youboty, out of Texas, will visit next week. Two star but we have learned that doesn't mean much. NU may have to switch some players around to beef up this position if they can't recruit three or four quality players. Cameron Meredith is an NU linebacker recruit that could end up at defensive end.

    Need 9

    Nose Tackle
    1) None


    We will need to depend on other existing players to develop. It is possible that a defensive end recruit will develop into a line position. Also there could be a switch of an offensive lineman to defensive lineman.

    Need 9

    Defensive Line
    1) Ty Steinkuhler
    2) Ben Martin

    Quentin Toailoa

    No longer a recruit
    Joseph Townsend

    Again, we could use a couple of recruits in the defensive line to shore up this position. Quentin Toaliloa is a fine player out of California. He has been the main addition since we named our new coach.
    Eddie Brown, out of Texas, is visiting next week. NU has not made an offer to him yet, but don't be surprised if he ends up at NU.

    NU may look for a JUCO player or two to fill the immediate need at defensive tackle.

    Interior line Need 8.

    Sam linebacker

    1) Blake Lawrence

    Will linebacker
    1) Major Culbert

    Mike Linebacker
    1) Philip Dillard

    Will Compton soft verbal
    Sean Fisher
    Micah Kreikemeier

    No longer committed
    Shaun Mohler
    Doug Rippy

    Let's hope we keep Compton. NU needs to recruit two quality linebackers to replace Mohler and Rippy. Brian Moore, from Texas, is a possibility. He is presently a soft verbal to Tulsa but is visiting NU next week. Kyler Reed could switch to linebacker. He is presently a tight end recruit.
    Need 7

    Left Cornerback

    1) Anthony Blue

    Right Cornerback
    1) Anthony West

    David Whitmore

    Blue and West will be exceptional players. Adding Whitmore will help. Prince Amukamaru is the fastest man on the team and will be a factor on special teams and defense in 2008. Need 5

    Strong Safety

    1) Larry Asante

    Free Safety
    1) Ricky Thenarse
    2) Ricky Hagg

    Keelan Johnson
    John Leverson

    Can you imagine how good Thenarse will be for Bo Pelini? Talk about the perfect fit. Two good recruits to go with some great talent. Charles Mitchell is visiting from Mississippi next week. He runs a 4.56 and is an excellent prospect.

    Need 4


    1) Alex He
    2) Adi Kunalic


    We will need to recruit a punter in the next year or so. A walk-on this year would give us some experience. South Dakotan Kyle Martens could be that person. He may even get a scholarship offer.

    There are definite needs yet with this recruiting class at quarterback, running back, and receiver on offense. We need to pick up one or two of each. On defense, we need two or three more defensive linemen and two or three more linebackers. Getting a good punter as a walk-on would be beneficial.

    The new coaching staff looks to be recruiting Texas VERY hard. Most of the new interest comes from that state. The new running backs coach, Tim Beck is a former high school coach from Texas. He is known as a great recruiter and he will be an asset to the program.

    Also the walk on program seems to be back in force as there seems to be interest from many non-scholarship players from our good state to play for the Cornhuskers. The visitors that come to NU in the next three or four weeks will be crucial to Nebraska's success with the 2008 class.

    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    No Nebraska This Bowl Season but Lots of Memories From the Past

    Nebraska didn't make it to a bowl this year, but today as some the major bowls were being played, random thoughts went through my mine from the past. As you will see, random is the proper word.

    It seems like yesterday! In 1972, bowl games were very special. First of all, there wasn't that many bowls at that time. We have 32 today. There used to be a "Bluebonnet Bowl, a "Peach Bowl", and a "Tangerine Bowl". Heck, the Fiesta Bowl didn't start until 1971. Of course, we had the Cotton Bowl, Orange Bowl, Rose, Bowl, and Sugar Bowl. It seemed that they were all played on January 1st even though they some were played on December 31st.

    The bowls were special because we only had three stations on our TV. To see a bowl game on TV was an event to say the least. On January 1st, people would celebrate by getting together and watch the the bowl games. We didn't have ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U, Fox, TBS, VS, or even the NFL channel. It was special!! We also didn't have the coverage of the teams like we have today. We read about them in the newspaper, but we didn't get to see the great teams play very often. We were lucky to see Nebraska play Oklahoma on Thanksgiving Day, a bowl game, and once in a great while another regular season game.

    1972 was a special year for the Cornhuskers. We had won the first National Championship in 1971 beating LSU 17-12. That game is a story for another day because this writer attended that game.

    But today we are going to talk about that Thanksgiving Day when we played the Game of the Century vs. Oklahoma; followed by some thoughts of the Orange Bowl game vs Alabama.

    It was No. 1 Nebraska vs. No. 2 Oklahoma in front of 63,000 fans at Owens Field. Never has the quality of a game been so strong. Yes, there has been buildup of many games over the years. This game, however, featured two teams that performed brilliantly all day long. The errors of the game included three turnovers by Oklahoma and one by Nebraska. There was only one penalty the whole day, an offside penalty against Nebraska.

    Oklahoma ran the record breaking Wishbone T. Nebraska was able to stop the main weapon of Greg Pruitt's end runs but was not able to stop the keeper, fullback, or most of the passing game.

    Nebraska ran the I spread and the I slot. Oklahoma took away Nebraska's passing attack but Nebraska was able to the run the ball effectively. The difference in the game is the play all Nebraska fans remember. It was Johnny Rodger's punt return. It was the play we have heard called by Lyle Bremser a billion times and it is never enough. That play was the difference in the game that day.

    Joe Wylie punted the ball high and deep which helped Rodgers' return. Oklahoma was down to him when he caught the ball. You can't describe the run. You have all seen it. Rodgers went 72 yards for the score!! He should have called a fair catch the way they had him covered. Greg Pruitt spun him around. Ken Jones almost had him. He darted, caught his balance, twisted, dodged, disappeared a couple of times and then ran for the end zone. Joe Blahak bumped Joe Wylie out of the way. He put the fans in the aisles. Man, woman, and child!!!

    The Cornhuskers twice were able to get 11 point leads that day; 14-3 in the second quarter and 28-17 in the third quarter. Remember the punt return was in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the ballgame. But the punt return forced OU to fight from behind most of the day.

    With seven minutes to go in the game, OU's QB Jack Mildren had ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more. Nebraska had the best defense in the country but Oklahoma had 467 total yards. Oklahoma also had a 31-28 lead. It was reported that Devaney lost his temper and yelled at the defense on the sideline "Why can't you guys give Rich Glover some help once in a while?" Rich Glover seemed to be doing it all that day.

    Then is was NU's Jerry Tagge's turn to direct NU on the winning 74 yard drive. "Nobody said a word in the huddle but me," Tagge said. "We all just knew what had to be done." And they did it.
    The drive took 12 plays and over five minutes. Jeff Kinney ran for 30 yards on two plays early in the drive. He broke a few tackles. Do you remember his torn up jersey? Tagge hit Rodgers on a third and eight with Rodgers making a great catch.

    Jeff Kinney ran the ball into the end zone with little time left running behind All American Daryl White. Nebraska won 35-31 and we all felt great for hours, days, months, and years to come.

    Alabama, behind Bear Bryant beat Auburn 31-7. A little bit of an upset as Pat Sullivan was the QB for Auburn. He would win the Heismann that year. All American Johnny Musso was the star for Alabama. Alabama was headed to the Orange Bowl to play Nebraska. We had never beaten Bear Bryant.

    It was No. 1 Nebraska vs. No. 2 Alabama in the Orange Bowl for the National Championship. Jeff Kinney scored a touchdown followed by a 77 yard punt return by Johnny Rodgers. Jerry Tagge ran for a touchdown and so did Gary Dixon before half. NU led 28-0 at half.

    Rich Sanger had a field goal and Van Brownson, subbing for Jerry Tagge scored also. NU went on to win 38-6 and beat Bear Bryant for the first time in three tries. Nebraska had won its second National championship in two years!!!!

    It is fun to remember these times. Nebraska was not at a bowl this year. We will be in a bowl next year and the next year and so on. We will be back!!!!!!! Alabama had Bear and Nebraska now has Bo.